Montgomery Co. Schools To Cut Employee Benefits In 2012 | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Montgomery Co. Schools To Cut Employee Benefits In 2012

Play associated audio

As the economy soured, all agencies in Montgomery County saw some sort of cuts to their budgets. The school system never did, however, because of a state law that requires counties to spend more on their schools every year.

But this year, state lawmakers gave Montgomery County a one-year reprieve from penalties for not adhering to the law, and county council president Valerie Ervin says they will use this year to hit the "reset button" on the school budget.

In the coming years, the school system will see thousands of new students, and Ervin says that would mean the county would have to spend millions of dollars it doesn't have under the state law.

"We've already taxed our residents to the hilt. We can't go to the income tax; it's maxed out," she says. "We've raised the property tax, we've raised the energy tax, we've raised the cell phone tax. We are taxing our residents out."

The budget cuts for this year will likely target benefit packages for school employees, as council members do not want to cut anything that would effect class sizes, says Ervin.

She also acknowledges that the move to cut employee benefits will likely anger one of the strongest lobbies in the county, the teachers union.

"The teacher's union, and the other unions that support school system employees, will come to the table realizing the conversation will be very different," she says.

NPR

Amazon Deal With Simon & Schuster Raises Questions For Other Publishers

Amazon has received a fair amount of bad press lately over its long-running dispute with the Hachette publishing house. So Monday's announcement of a deal with Simon & Schuster took some industry watchers by surprise.
NPR

From NFL To 'Scandal,' Whole Foods Buys TV Ads To Boost Its Brand

A pioneer in selling organic, sustainable groceries, Whole Foods now finds itself beset by competitors. So it's launching its first national ad blitz to sell socially conscious consumers on its story.
NPR

Obama Has To Balance His Base Without Hurting Dems In Red States

If Democrats have a chance of hanging onto Senate seats in southern states, they need to do well with African American voters. But for President Obama, that creates a difficult balance between turning out the base and energizing GOP voters who don't like him.
NPR

In Silicon Valley, Paying For Access To Peace Of Mind

The San Francisco area is the home to the high-tech sector and has a history of embracing Eastern spirituality. Now the two meet in the yoga and meditation classes popular with the local tech workers.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.